Estonia supporting Italy and Spain with protective masks, money

  • 2020-04-16
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonia is about to give protective masks and disinfectants to Italy and Spain and provide 100,000 euros to both countries via the International Organization of the Red Cross to help them better cope with the heavy impact of coronavirus. 

"In the present difficult time we must express our unity with the countries that have suffered the most in Europe due to the spread of the coronavirus. Spain and Italy have asked their allies for assistance, and Estonia with other NATO member states has decided to grant them the assistance required," Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said through spokespeople for the government on Thursday.  

To help get the virus under control, Estonia will allocate 100,000 euros to both countries via the International Organization of the Red Cross. Also, Estonia will allocate to both countries 30,000 face masks and 2,000 units of a disinfectant manufactured by local producer Nordic Group OU. 

The proposal to support Spain and Italy was made to the Estonian government by Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu.

The prime minister pointed out that Italy and Spain have both repeatedly demonstrated their solidarity and contributed to the security of the alliance and of our region through their participation in NATO battlegroups, the Baltic air policing mission and the activity of the cyber defense center of excellence in Tallinn. He said that therefore it is natural that Estonia will also  support them in difficult moments. 

The Estonian foreign minister talked to the foreign ministers of both countries by telephone, informing them about the assistance. Both ministers thanked Estonia for the assistance on behalf of their nation and affirmed that their state and the people will not forget this assistance.

The deliveries from Estonia are to reach Italy and Spain next week the earliest. 

Spain filed its request for assistance on March 24 and Italy on March 26 via the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center (EADRCC), NATO's principal civil emergency response mechanism in the Euro-Atlantic area, providing detailed information about the equipment and supplies they are short of to effectively combat the virus. 

Also several other NATO allies and EU member states besides Estonia have responded to the requests. 

The first Spanish aircraft with Lithuania's assistance to Spain on board is to take off from Siauliai on April 21. The assistance will be delivered by means of Spanish military logistics, as Spain is taking part in the Baltic air policing mission performed out of the Siauliai base in Lithuania.

Czechia has sent 10,000 protective suits to both countries, Denmark has sent ventilators and a field hospital, Luxembourg has donated to Spain 1,440 kilograms of medical protective materials, Germany has sent to Spain several tons of supplies and equipment, including 5,000 ventilators, and has airlifted patients in serious condition from Italy by military transport planes to Germany to be treated in German hospitals. 

Turkey has given to Spain and Italy protective equipment and disinfectants, including 450,000 protective masks. Poland has sent 15 doctors and Albania 30 doctors to Italy to help out.